Soda Tax Or Behavior Tax? Essay

1481 words - 6 pages

Imposing a tax on high calorie beverages and junk foods is not a practical solution that will cure America’s obesity epidemic. This action would have more of a punitive effect on low income individuals and would do little to motivate those with higher incomes to curb their excessive consumption of empty calories. There are alternative actions that our government can implement to encourage positive behaviors, such as increasing the availability of public greenways and other venues for physical activities. Although new taxes will certainly generate additional revenue, this step alone will not produce the necessary changes in behavior required to reverse obesity in Americans. Ultimately, change in individuals is most effective when it is their decision to change, not when coerced by government action.
There is little doubt that processed food, also known as junk food, is at least partially responsible for the growing obesity of Americans. Processed food is designed to be delicious, desirable, and irresistible to consumers. Highly processed food also has many of its beneficial nutrients stripped away during the manufacturing process and is higher in salt, fat and sugar content than unprocessed food. It is interesting that fast food has many of these same qualities, making it equally desirable, as well as convenient. According to Robert H. Lustig, M.D., a well-known pediatric endocrinologist, fast food “is highly processed, energy dense, and specifically designed to be highly palatable” (56). After coming home from a long day at work, it is easy for parents to give in to the convenience of a calorie-laden meal that their children will happily devour with no objections. Healthy or not a kid’s meal comes to the rescue.
In order to better appreciate the irresistible appeal of these engineered designer foods, it is helpful to understand the “habit loop” as described by author Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize winning staff writer at the New York Times. This cycle begins with the “cue”, next comes the “routine”, which is followed by the “reward” and develops into a “habit” with repetition. (32) Duhigg cites an experiment conducted at the University of Cambridge by professor Wolfram Schultz. In this experiment Schultz studies the brain activity of monkeys as they perform simple tasks. Schultz discovers that the spike in brain activity that accompanies reception of the reward begins to show before the reward is actually received. He notes that the monkey learns to expect the reward for completing the task, and later the monkey begins to anticipate the reward upon seeing the cue and before completing the task (54-61). This could explain the cravings that people feel when seeing a billboard or television commercial advertising foods specifically created to appeal to their tastes. Consumers crave these products, anticipate the pleasure of consuming them and consequently feel driven to purchase them.
The appeal of these junk foods is clearly by design, and some...

Find Another Essay On Soda Tax or Behavior Tax?

Tax Cuts of 2000/2001: Good or Bad for the Economy. How have the Bush tax cuts affected the united states economy? Includes a bibliography

1051 words - 4 pages Tax Cuts of 2000/2001:Good or Bad for the EconomyThe Bush tax cuts have not proven to be good for our economy. Although, we had a budget surplus our government jumped the gun with the tax cuts. These tax cuts will decrease the surplus extremely quickly and this money should be going towards most of the governmental run programs that usually are geared toward the moderate to low income people. Bush did not anticipate any future events that could

What are the effects of soda on teeth?

2604 words - 11 pages Argument: People reach for diet soda as a healthier alternative to regular soda, but as recent studies have shown, they are mistaken. Recent studies have shown that “diet soda can have the same effect on your tooth enamel as methamphetamine or crack cocaine use” (Diet Soda’s Effect on Teeth). They have done studies comparing drug addicts to soda drinkers and have found similar results to the effects of the substance on teeth. One study was

A HISTORY OF THE SIN TAXES

1917 words - 8 pages . Leidhra Johnson claimed that a person who wants to smoke it is his or her right to decide whether to smoke or not (Dorsey, 2010).Introduction:Sin tax was first known in 1964. Sin tax has become a popular alternative for revenue collection specifically in the time of decreasing retail sales, company profits, and tax revenues. Sin tax always focuses on inconsiderate behavior than general consumption or tax income. It has the potential to generate new

Banning Of Sugary Drinks

932 words - 4 pages calorie coffee drinks like Starbucks Frappucinos would have remained unfettered. This mean the law of ban sugary drinks skip more important factors that affect obesity too, so soda are not the only problem. The government is not considered the others harmful beverages. Since the ban on the drinks of 16 ounces passes on New York City, the President Obama says “Sin Tax on sodas is food for thought” (Salton, David, NY Daily News). Sin Tax is a kind

Sugar in America

858 words - 4 pages lobbyist funds 'community' campaign against soda tax” June 13, 2012 | William Harless, it mentions about the Richmond’s from Washington D.C trade organization that represents all beverage companies that go against soda tax. A Richmond resident, Rosa Lara, is going door to door identifying herself as an organizer with the community against Beverage Taxes and collecting signatures on a petition. Which she had up to 900 signatures from the

Tax Compliance Cost an Important Aspect of Tax Policy

1440 words - 6 pages Tax compliance cost has become an important aspect of tax policy. This is because of its connection with the tax compliance and the government revenue in turn. Unnecessary burden of compliance cost either on individual or business taxpayer may have negative effect on the tax compliance and eventually reduction in the tax revenue. Tax compliance cost is one of the determinants of tax compliance behavior. Unnecessary high tax compliance cost

Tax system definition

1248 words - 5 pages New Zealand tax systemTax system definitionA tax system is a system that gains and assesses taxes legally by government. There are a variety of explanations regarding to its definition, purposes and functions. It is a "charge, especially a pecuniary burden which is imposed by authority", "A charge or burden laid upon persons or property for the support of a government", "A sum imposed or levied upon the members of a society to defray its

Benefits of a Tax on High Fat Foods

923 words - 4 pages : Obesity is a major problem in America and all over the world, the fat tax is one of possible solutions to this problem. Directional transition: (Summary/Preview): Now I am going to tell you about the pros, con, and countries who have adapted the fat tax. BODY: I. The “Fat Tax” or tax on food that contains more the 2.5% saturated fat, according to the Herald Sun in 2013. A. According to the National Library of Medicine, American’s can be and

Drawbacks of an Unhealthy Food Tax

2251 words - 10 pages of the Constitution with the “necessary and proper” clause (Killian). The question is not whether the government has the power to create the tax. The question is whether it is the right thing to do. Michael Tanner, lead researcher at Cato Institute, stated, “…the state might have a proper claim to limit my behavior if that behavior directly harms someone else. But my drinking a Big Gulp or eating fried food harms no one but myself (qtd in McKay

The Four Types of Taxes

1678 words - 7 pages , the concept that supports a tax system that does not “discriminate between similar things or people, or unduly distort behavior” (Musgrave, 1987) . Vertical equity is the concept that individuals who have a better capability to pay taxes should pay more. If the upper class of a society pays more in taxes, proportional to their income, it is known as proportional tax. If the upper class pays taxes in a larger accumulative proportion, it is termed

Tanning Tax

1283 words - 5 pages Tanning beds have helped people for years to catch the natural glowing look that normally would be from the sun, but now Congress has passed a Health Care Bill that allows a ten present tax on all indoor tanning beds. Are people paying the tax for the convenience or to help with the Health Care in the United States? Congress tells people that the tax is to help pay for the treatment that an individual must have because of the harm ultraviolent

Similar Essays

Should We Enact Soda Tax In Massachusetts? Simmons College Lc Food Policy Research Paper

5202 words - 21 pages taxes are reflected in the sticker price of the products and based on quantity rather than on price (Hill and Davis, 2016). With regards to sales taxes, excise taxes are typically at higher rates (Ibid). Soda and other SSBs drinkers can reduce the amount of sales tax paid per ounce by buying in bulk or purchasing a less expensive brand, however, with an excise tax, consumers will have to pay a fixed tax rate per ounce of the SSBs product (Ibid

Tax Evasion Or Tax Avoidance: Is Starbucks` Tax Planning And Practice Setting A Bad Precedent?

1949 words - 8 pages Is Starbucks` tax planning and practice setting a bad precedent? The following is a review on the Reuters’s report on ‘How Starbucks avoids UK taxes’: Reuters (2013). It looks at what tax avoidance and tax evasion are, and the issues affecting the ethics on Starbucks` tax planning and practice. Finally, to comment on whether Starbucks` tax planning is recommended for any other multinational company. 2. Tax Evasion or Tax Avoidance 2.1. A review

America's Tax System: Flat Or Fair?

877 words - 4 pages circumstances within the system that I would adjust. For example, a true Flat Tax System would eliminate all deductions and exemptions, but by allowing or limiting a few basic deductions such as home mortgage, education, medical, and/or charitable deductions, the government could still help to promote good social behavior. The catch is that there would need to be a way to ensure that special-interest groups were not again abusing the tax system

Us Tax Policy Export Subsidies Or Leveling The Playing Field?

2721 words - 11 pages US Tax Policy - Export Subsidies or Leveling the Playing Field? On October 22th 2004, President Bush signed into law the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. This is a new tax law, which provides tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers, multinational operations, and a host of other industries. The American Job Creation Act was designed to replace the current Extraterritorial Income Act or ETI, which the WTO had determined was a disguised export